June 27, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Nine with Tennessee ties were in action Sunday at the USA Track & Field Championships, but Lady Vol Phoebe Wright and Vol Evander Wells turned in the finest Big Orange results on the final day at Drake Stadium.
Wright matched her third-place USA Championships finish of a year ago, running 2:00.47 in the women's 800m run final. Alysia Johnson, who grabbed the early advantage and held on the rest of the way, captured the victory in 1:59.87. Maggie Vessey was second in 2:00.43, followed by Wright, who charged hard down the home stretch to overtake Treniere Moser for the bronze.
After winning her two previous USA prelim races this weekend and taking third today, Wright suffered her first non-victory in 16 outings this season in the 800 meters. Her mark was the second-best she's run and the No. 4 mark ever by a Lady Vol. Wright ran 2:00.40 last July, and Jasmin Jones (2:00.24, 1990) and Kameisha Bennett (2:00.37, 2004) also produced faster marks for UT.
Vol senior Evander Wells followed up his seventh-place result in the 100 meters on Saturday with a fourth-place effort in the 200 on Sunday. Wells posted his fastest readout of the season to do so, gunning the throttle to a 20.31 readout with an illegal gust of 2.9 meters per second at his back. Former UT ace Rubin Williams also was in the 200m final, placing sixth in 20.38.
Fellow UT senior Kyle Stevenson, meanwhile posted a respectable 10th-place outcome in the 200 meters. He logged a 20.91 readout in the semis, finishing fifth in heat two and missing out on advancing to the final. Still, after entering the meet as the 20th seed, it was a positive development for the native of Memphis. Wells and Williams had advanced to the final with semifinal marks of 20.77 and 20.86, respectively, that ranked sixth and eighth of the qualifiers.
Vol sophomore Desmond Brown landed his finest leap of the season in the long jump. Albeit aided by a 3.9 mps gust, Brown stretched the tape to 25-9.50/7.86m to snare seventh-place distinction. Not a bad result for someone who didn't qualify for the NCAA Championship meets this season.
After notching a career-best 56.83 readout on Saturday, Lady Vol sophomore Ellen Wortham came back Sunday with a 58.81 mark that left her eighth in the 400m hurdles finals. A year ago she was fifth in the USA Junior portion of the meet.
In the finals of the men's 3,000m steeplechase, former Vol Anthony Famiglietti's bid for a sixth U.S. distance championship came up short. The two-time Olympian wound up 10th in 8:47.08.
In semifinal action, former Vol Drew Brunson was a victim of the numbers game in the men's 110m hurdles. He posted the eighth-fastest mark in 13.49, but he finished fifth in heat one, was ninth overall and did not advance. The advancement formula was for the top four in each heat to move on. Aries Merritt had qualified to run in the semis, but he did not start today.
Women's 800m Final: 3. Phoebe Wright, 2:00.47
Women's 400m Hurdles Final: 8. Ellen Wortham, 58.81
Men's Long Jump Final: 7. Desmond Brown, 25-9.50/7.86m (w: 3.9)
Men's 3000m Steeplechase Final: 10. Anthony Famiglietti, 8:47.08
! - Personal Best; DNF - Did Not Finish; DNS - Did Not Start; p - Prelims; sr - School Record